Category: DragonCon

Convention Report – DragonCon 2019

I’m back from DragonCon and have finally stirred from my post-con torpor!  Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by, including a couple of my Patrons here!  It was so lovely to meet you and give you hugs (and pins!).  I got to see so many artist friends I haven’t met in person, plus old friends I only get to see this time of year.  I only wish I’d had more time to spend with everyone!

I always like to do a write-up if I can.  DragonCon is such a massive show and always a great event for testing out new, ambitious things!  I’ve been working hard towards it for a long time before the event to make new products to debut, such as the tote bags and scarves.  This was also the first time I’ve ever had to fill such a large space at 8 x 10 feet! It was an intimidating prospect!

So how’d I do?  I sold half my canvas totes, but only a couple of scarves!  Most folks went for my prints, pouches, totes, and greeting cards (especially the ones themed for the month of September!).  I also think my display made an impression!  People really seemed to love my little ‘shrine’ of flowers and candles.

You can also see a video tour of the booth here.

All in all, I made back expenses and then some!  Having a larger display space really paid off for me, as I think the larger display footprint allowed me to give people a better idea of the scale of this ambitious project of mine which is really hard to contain in a smaller space.

The Art Show

The Art Show was a new beast this year!  New management meant new changes, such as the lack of a silent auction or a print shop.  This meant more floor space for artists and a new way to buy directly from the artist, instead of an auction!  It was nice to be able to take my earnings from sales in the Gallery area home immediately instead of waiting for a check to come in the mail.

There was a little confusion about how to buy things from the gallery bay, but otherwise, I felt the changes were for the better, letting the Art Show check-in process go more smoothly (no dealing with barcodes or anything of that nature).  I really enjoyed the new black pegboard for the Gallery area as well!

The volunteers were especially exceptional this year.  They came around often to see if we needed help and check on our well-being!

What Did I Learn?

DragonCon, especially one where I test out new things, is always a learning experience!  Here are some things I learned.

  • Bundle Deals. The bundle deals worked like a charm! I attribute most of my sales to people wanting to buy gifts for multiple people and being encouraged to do so by saving a little money with a bulk discount.
  • More Signage. I need more signage to show people I’m on Patreon, what my name is, and also that the series is about a birthstone series, as it took  people a minute to realize this was a birthstone series and upon realizing that fact, they of course then wanted to immediately see what their month was, which was easier when I made month signs to go by the images (and to subdivide the print bins).
  • The 15 Second Rule.  Kevin, who has vast retail experience and is a remarkable salesman, taught me this at the con. Basically, instead of smothering people with my overeager greetings, give people 15 seconds to process what they’re seeing and decide if they are engaged with it.  

    This wait time helped me make a better call about who was meandering through and who was actually interested so I don’t waste my precious introvert energy on people who have no interest.

  • Stock for Birthday/Month Sensitive Items.  I had so many September babies stop by and say “It’s my birth month and I’m treating myself” or I had friends of September babies shopping for birthday gifts for the special September person in their life. This should have been obvious to me, but I need to keep more stock on hand for these timely occasions!  I even made extra of September and still sold out!
  • More Small Impulse Items. I had so many people who didn’t want to make a big investment or who didn’t have a lot of wall space who ended up scooping up stickers and greeting cards.  I would have sold pins like hot cakes for this reason as well!  

    I want to focus my table area around showing off these small items since they became the ‘bread and butter’ small sales that added up nicely at the end of the day because they are easy to manufacture on a mass scale with a good markup and impulse range price tag that isn’t too much of a burden for the average buyer.

  • Calendar. I REALLY need to finish up the calendar for this series, as now that I have all 12 images, it’s become my number one requested item. I’ve planned to work on it after the enamel pins, so it will be coming next year!

Favorite Cosplay

Oh boy it was SO hard to pick a cosplay to feature here!  Now that they’ve lifted the no photo ban in the Art Show, I had a lot of fun taking photos of amazing cosplayers who dropped by my booth.  They were all wonderful and you can see more of them here.  

However, I just have to feature this lady!  I was a Power Rangers fan back in the day and this lady made me squeal with nostalgic glee.  She also made her costume herself!

I am already missing the glorious geeky chaos that was DragonCon!  I love being around so many kindred spirits that it feels pretty lonely when I get home and return to the grind.  I’m grateful my fans (and especially my Patrons) are here in my corner experiencing this journey along with me.  Your encouragement and feedback have helped me have one of my best cons ever!

Next, I’ll be hopping right into Kickstarter fulfillment and revving up for the Goddesses of Autumn pins, so there’s no rest for the wary!

Did you stop by at DragonCon?  What was your fave cosplay?  Sound off in the comments!

♥ Ang

CON REPORT: DragonCon 2015

I’m back from DragonCon and have a massive head cold as a souvenir!  Before I disappear with hot tea and meds, I thought I’d post about how my DragonCon went.

This year was an odd duck for me.  I had no table, which is the first time I’ve been without one for a couple of years.  I was completely okay with that, however, because it meant that I got to actually experience the con by attending interesting panels, costume watching, and networking with people rather than being tied to one place.

I went to a wide range of panels, from the history of Persian dance to indie game development (panel notes forthcoming).  I somehow never made it by the dealer’s room since venturing anywhere outside of the Hyatt just seemed like too much effort.  The Hilton for the game dev track was as far as I made it.

I also ran two panels for other artists entitled Social Media for Artists 101 and 102!  Any event where I can play Duck Army as an ice breaker is a good event.  The attendees at my panel were all very enthusiastic and willing to share resources. Thanks for making it a great first run for 102,  everyone! (NOTE: You can find the PowerPoint files of my presentations here.)


John, Anne, Heidi, and the other staff ran a tight ship, as always!  It was an experimental year for me in that I left my masks and Art Nouveau work at home and only displayed my digital fantasy work in the show this year, an intimidating decision!  I was happily surprised that two of my canvas prints (Oathbound and Kushiel’s Dart) found new homes!  I did decently in the print shop, though I have a few extra playmats and dice bags still available if anyone’s after them.  Use code DRAGONCON to get 15% off at my shop right now!

A panoramic shot of my large gallery bay. From left to right, Kushiel’s Dart, Enchained Wind, Keeper of Secrets, Oathbound, Persephone Queen of the Underworld, The Lotus Dancer, and Dreaming Butterfly.
File Sep 10, 10 47 00 AM
See more of these amazing cosplayers here.


We walked by a guy in the skybridge dressed as a herald from Assassin’s Creed.  He was putting up posters on the walls every few feet.  I heard tales of cosplayers dressed as Assassins zipping by and tearing them down later.  When we asked him how many posters he had, he said 250.  I am highly amused by this kind of clever fun.  I didn’t get a picture of him, but I got one of his poster, which was really well done!


I snapped a pic of this amazing pair dressed as Na’vi from
Avatar during the Night at the Aquarium.  That baby looked so very real. It was quite creepy (and awesome)!  It’s the dedication to full body paint and detail that made this the best costume I saw all con.  While the Night at the Aquarium was great for costumes, they had all of the lights turned off in the displays this year, which made it really hard to see any fish.  How I wish I’d gone to the philharmonic concert instead.


I always like to think about what I can learn from looking at the displays and presentations of artists, but this year’s revelation was on a deeper level. Instead, I got a lesson in creativity and motivation from attending the panels on creativity and writing this year.

The advice from a lot of the authors there was that comparing yourselves to others was the quickest way to burn out.  Most of us in the creative industry are just trying to get by and/or create something that we love.  You can partially measure that success by money, but other times, it’s the victory of just having made the thing since, more than likely, creating art is not really going to pay all the bills until a very long time out.  Most of us are in that dreaded ‘gap’ and those who would be at the top are not always guaranteed to stay that way.  Focus on making good art and stop comparing yourself to others.

And that’s a wrap!  You can see more of my DragonCon photos of some of the cool swag I picked up in Artist Alley and other moments over at my Instagram.  Till next time!

Convention Report: DragonCon 2014

After catching up on sleep, emails, and the internet, I’m finally able to grab some time to write a few thoughts about this past weekend’s Dragon Con!  It was an odd year for me, as my sales were not so stellar, but the sense of kinship I felt with the other artists, even during a ‘bad’ year, warmed the heart.

I’ve come home feeling encouraged and inspired more than ever before, especially since I had a disappointing show.  We all have them and I learned a lot this con about myself, my future, and how much I love the supportive nature of the art community.

I have a lot of thoughts to sort out, so I’ll try to condense!

My Display this Year:

My table setup during load in.  I wore a much nicer outfit at the actual con so I didn’t look like an art hobo.
This table arrangement changed a bit over time, with the books being moved up front and the bookmarks behind them.

My gallery display in the Art Show.  Art Nouveau to the left, mature fantasy in the center,
and my masks to the right.

The Convention Experience:

As always, the Art Show is a well-oiled machine and set up went rather well!  I had a lovely time chatting up familiar faces like Annie Stegg, Justin Gerard, Drew Baker (Drew, the playmats you printed were gorgeous and I sold them both!) and Peter Morhbacher (or more often, his dad, Mike. He told some stories about you, Pete. Hehehe!).

I also made new friends with my amazing table neighbors, Jasmine Beckett-Griffth and her husband Matt, and Tienne Rei and her lovely assistant, Linda.  I also got to hang out with the talented Meredith Dillman and her husband and my good friend and artist, Brenda Lyons.

The more time I spend at conventions, the smaller the art world becomes!  It’s been a great pleasure getting to know other artists more personally and to realize what an encouraging and amazing community network we have.

I just wish I had more time to chat with everyone!  We were all so busy that beyond a dinner here and a shuttle wait there, it was selling, eating, or sleeping.  Makes me sad I’ll miss IlluXcon later this month, where people generally have a bit more time to hang out!

The general feel from the attendees this year was…tense, to say the least.  So many seemed very upset about the crowds in the Dealer’s Room and in general.  I’ve heard that there were 72K attendees this year.  This is insanity!  The hotels were just not made to contain this number of people.   Due to foot traffic and the general unintuitive layout of the hotels, it’s near impossible to find your way to a panel on time, and that’s not the worst of it!

Between myself, people I know, and other attendee experiences, we witnessed glass bottles being dropped off balconies (onto other people!), an escalator being shut down because of too much foot traffic in one area, the dealer’s room being shut down by the fire marshal because of too much traffic, a fist fight on the shuttle bus, and so much more chaos!

Dragon Con, it’s time to consider your attendees’ comfort levels and move the event to one of the local convention centers.  I probably won’t be coming to this con ever unless I have to sell things because I don’t want to deal with this mess.

Best Sellers:

My Kushiel’s Dart prints were a big hit and I sold out of them completely!  It’s unsurprising, since the print depicts a character from a popular novel that many identify with (thank Jacqueline for giving me her blessing to sell these prints!).  My Ladies of the Months postcards and bookmarks were also popular.  People wanting to know about when their Lady will be released was the #1 reason many signed up for my mailing list.

Overall, I sold many small things this year (bookmarks, card prints, small prints, etc.) while the canvas prints and masks gathered dust.  I have a lot of thoughts on why this is that I’ll cover in a minute.

Throughout the show, I saw many high priced original paintings selling across the board.  This is a very encouraging trend that I hope will be continued in future Dragon Cons!  Dragon Con seems to be attracting a decent number of collectors who aren’t afraid to spend top dollar on good art.  Original oil and acrylic paintings seemed to be the most popular big ticket item out of them all.

What I Learned:

If there’s anything I learned this year, it’s that having a bad con can sometimes teach you a lot more about what you’re doing right or wrong than having a decent year can.

My Brand is Too Segmented – I had a fair few people come up to me to say they loved my art, but that they were wondering where all of my older angel-centric work went.  This is the effect of not having sold at the show at a table in a few years and my work being in major flux since that point in time.

I’ve been moving towards a more serious mature fantasy vein in recent times and I learned from this experience that this type of work doesn’t exactly jive with what my past collectors expected, which I suspect affected sales.  My thoughts on how to handle this problem and where I’m going as an artist could fill a book, so expect a future entry on this topic soon!  I’ve already gotten some great feedback from fellow artists and AD’s that have proven invaluable.

Mailing List Signup Ideas – I did my standard book giveaway this year, where new sign-ups would have a chance at winning the book on the last day of the con.  However, my neighbor Tienne did an excellent job of encouraging sign-ups by giving people a choice of a free print if they signed up, which is a far more immediate tactic than a book giveaway.

She also gave folks the option to sign up to a snail mail only list, which is nice for those customers who don’t check e-mail often and prefer the updates of a solid mailer.  I want to try this idea at the next con and see how it goes!

Digital Art is a Hard Sell – I had many people confuse my digital art for oil paints, which is a style I’ve been nursing for my own benefit, since I don’t have the luxury of ventilation so I can work in this medium and I consider digital far less messy and environmentally destructive.  Once people learned my painterly work was digital, they seemed to be disappointed.   The idea that digital is ‘easy mode’ and is therefore worth less for that still seems prominent.

If I could do it all over again, I’d hang my original traditionally painted pieces at my table and put the prints in the Gallery Bay.  People seem more interested in chatting with me about my process and it’s a lot easier to do that when the original is hanging nearby.

Coolest Costume:

Last, but not least, here is the coolest costume I saw!  Dragon Con is a costuming paradise and I am always sure to be on the lookout for impressive ensembles.

I didn’t get out of the Artist’s Alley much, but this one really knocked my socks off!  The amount of detail is just staggering and I can literally hear the Junk Lady’s voice in my head when I look at this costume.

“What’s the matter, my dear, don’t you like your toys?”

All in all, this convention is still one of the best places to sell fantasy work in the Southeast and I hope to come back, but probably not at a table until my artistic voice evens out a bit.  The Art Show has an ever-increasing number of amazing artists that are definitely worth seeing, but also gives enough of the limelight to lesser known artists that might surprise you.  This mix of amazing artists and new talent makes the Art Show a must-see for any of you out there interested in either participating in the show or seeing some of your favorite artists in person.

Till next year!

Con Report: Dragon*Con 2012

Sporting a leather Magpie feather
made by the multi-talented
Brenda Lyons!

My brain has finally returned from Dragon*Con 2012 (some days after it officially ended, I might add)! It was a haze of cool costumes, reunions, and meetings, as it usually is.  This is going to be a LONG entry, so grab a cup of tea and get comfy!

The Con

This year was an odd duck for me. I spent most of my time selling at my table in the art show, running to panels in the art track, and riding on the train since we commuted in. I didn’t get a chance to see many costumes or really leave the Hyatt.

I did, however, brave all three dealer’s rooms to hunt down amazing artists Michael C. Hayes, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, and Echo Chernik to buy their books, which I had been looking forward to doing for a long while! There’s no better feeling than to shake an artist’s hand and show them you support their work by buying a book directly from them at a show. This probably worked against me as I suspect I spent all my profits doing just that!

I also met several cool folks I have known online for ages, but had never met in person. So many folks came by to say hello and show their support!  It really made me feel special this year and I have no words to express how this warms my heart. Thanks, you guys!

The Selling Experience

As always, the Dragon*Con art show is a well oiled machine!  Set up and break down went smoothly, despite the fact I had three times the stuff I usually do this year.  I sold decently at the art show and hit my selling goal to break even, plus a few hundred.  My best selling work at the show was The Lotus Dancer, which I sold out of at my table, while none of my masks sold from the 3D table, which I’ll probably be dropping next year.  People seem to buy more masks right off the gallery bay, so I suspect that’s where I’ll be putting my masks from now on.

What I  Learned About My Display

For the first two days, I had nothing but older watercolor work of mine up on the panels arranged in very symmetrical grid patterns.  I have Death the Kid level obsession with symmetry, which works against me sometimes when I put up art for display!  My boyfriend tried an experiment of arranging a whole new selection of my digital works in asymmetrically balanced patterns and we noticed this seemed to grab the attention of con-goers far more. Lesson learned. Gotta dump my old work, get larger pieces for max eye-catching capability, AND stop being so symmetrical!

Other Stuff I Learned About Displaying Art

  • Tiered wire magazine racks make for great mask displays!
  • Instead of stretching canvases on stretcher bars, I want to try affixing them to masonite and covering them with gel medium. Annie Stegg used this to beautiful effect!  Her prints had the texture of her original paintings after applying the gel medium.
  • Offer more sketches and/or sketchbooks.  A lot of artists have been doing this and it seems like a smart way to get a little added income from your sketches!  Instead of rotting in my art pads, I could sell my doodles in bins or baskets.  Got to break my sketch hoarding habit!
  • Start ordering things wholesale. A couple of the other artists looked at me like I was crazy when I told them I hand cut all of my mats myself.  It’s time consuming and I can save a lot of time finding places that sell mats, backing, and bags all in one place for cheap at a bulk rate. (Anyone know any suppliers? I have been looking into
  • Mitch Foust had an amazing looking display that folded up into little collapsible panels AND included its own lighting setup!  It also costs far less than my Propanels and seems to take up much less space.  It’s called The Original SMART Exhibit and it is lovely and professional looking!  It may not work well for my outdoor shows, but it’s a good choice for the inside ones.

My First Portfolio Review

This year was the first year I worked up the courage to ask other pro artists to review my art at length.  I talked to both Justin Gerard and Dan Dos Santos, two illustrators from Muddy Colors with amazing work who gave me some stellar advice at my review and during their painting demos, which I will paraphrase here:

  • Use more reference. They knew instantly where I had fudged anatomy and it really brought down the overall believability and quality of my work where I didn’t use it.
  • Relates to the last one. Do more preliminary studies and thumbnails. Both Justin and Dan did an alarming amount of planning until the next step in their production was merely  to copy the preliminary to their final format. My planning phase has always been short and rushed and that needs to change.  They did whatever they had to, from taking model shoots, to photomanipping in whatever props and faces they needed in the prelim phase.
  • NO PHOTOMERGED TREES! *hangs head in shame*
  • Cut out ALL of the old mediocre work from my portfolio. Out of 20 pieces, only 5 were really viable to show to an art director.  This means I better get cracking on new work!  If I’m not producing at last one polished piece a month, I am not being serious about my career nor will I get the amount of high quality images I need in my portfolio in a decent amount of time.
I’ve already emailed the both of them with my sincerest thanks!  I suspect the advice they gave me is really going to change my career in the best of ways, plus they are just two wonderfully nice fellows!  Don’t be afraid to chat them up if you see them at a con.

Photo and Video Stream

I only took a couple of photos this year while I was hurrying through the Marriott to the dealer’s room, but you can see them here.  I also gave a panel on leather mask-making, which you can watch the video walkthrough here.

Here’s a preview of two really awesome cosplayers who had built their costumes around my Red Dragon and Seraphim leather masks. You look stunning, ladies!

The Red Dragon and Seraphim masquers. More of my masquers
can be seen at Angela’s Masquers.

What’s Next?

I have been debating back and forth if I will even attend Dragon*Con next year.  My budget is very limited and while I always have a blast at this con, I really want to try attending other conventions geared for artists, such as Illuxcon or Spectrum Fantastic Live Art, where art is the focus and I can make more career contacts.  If I can do them all, I will, but it’s time to venture outside of my comfort zone, meaning that Dragon*Con will be prioritized beneath these others.

But this also means I have a whole new journey ahead of me to produce new, improved work so that I’m not just showing the same old tired pieces to people.  I also need more subject matter relevant to the gaming industries in my portfolio, if I am to seriously pursue the kinds of jobs I want there.  This probably means less floofy angels and more Elves, which I can’t argue with!  I have an action plan for doing this, but I’ll save that for next journal entry!

Thanks for joining me for my Dragon*Con wrap up. See you all next year, maybe?  If not, remember me when you see cosplayers in leather masks and/or wings. Take a photo for me!

Find Me at DragonCon 2012!

Phew!  DragonCon is just a week away over the Labor Day weekend!  It occurred to me that I have such a large spread out presence this year at the show, so here’s a handy map to help you find me and all my bits and baubles this year.

(Click to enlarge)

For you Dcon newbs out there, the way you get to the art show is to come in at the ground floor of the Hyatt hotel, take two escalators down, then you’re there!  There will be a banner across the top of the door that says Artist Alley.  We’re sharing a partitioned room with the Comic Artists Alley as well!

Meet Me Face to Face!
I’ll be manning a table in the far back left corner with my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin, so be sure to come say hello to us!  I’ll be right next door to my good friend Brenda Lyons, known in most parts as Windfalcon.

I’ll have prints, bookmarks, and copies of my art book, Angelic Visions, on hand!  If you want anything in particular, be sure to let me know and I can bring it for you.  You can also order the sketch option for your book at my Etsy shop and I can give it to you at the con. Just let me know and I’ll refund your shipping if you are picking up from me directly at the con.

Gallery Display
My gallery display will have a mix of my masks, limited edition prints, beautiful large canvas prints, and embellished ACEO prints this year.

Print Shop
You can find 11×14 open edition prints and book bundles in the print shop this year as well!

Leather Mask Making Panel
I’ll be hosting my panel on creating leather masks at 7pm on Saturday in the art track, which is in the twisting labyrinth of hallways known as Hanover right next to the art show on the same floor.  I’ll have handouts of supply lists and a 50 minute instructional video, so be sure to come if you’re interested in my creative process for masks!

See you at the con!

Creative Background Noise

Work, work, work.  With my largest con of the year coming up, it’s been nonstop rush time for me!  It occurred to me that I always have interesting background noise going to help keep me rolling into the wee hours of the night.  Most of it is just interesting enough that I have something to occupy my mind, but not so distracting that I can’t work at the same time.  Here are just a few things I’ve been listening to in random order:

Documentaries (Most available on Netflix)

  • I Shouldn’t Be Alive – Stories of survival with fascinating lessons about what it takes to stay alive.
  • Medicine Men Go Wild – Continuing my survival obsession of late.  A pair of medical grad students, who are identical twins, go on a world tour to learn about different medical techniques and what they can teach modern doctors.
  • Deadly Women – Featuring multiple stories about female murderers.
  • Fatal Attractions – Examining the psychology of individuals who choose to keep exotic animals in their homes.

(Um yeah. Just goes to show you my morbid array of interests, most of which fuel my inspiration as a writer, moreso than my visual interests as an artist.)

Random Funny Podcasts

  • – Hilarious reviews and discussions of all the latest movies.
  • Zero Punctuation – Humorous video game reviews by the fast-talking game critic, Yahtzee.
  • Extra Credits – A podcast on the art and relevancy of video games which discusses the industry and its challenges, at large.

Music for the Muse

  • Niyaz – Really atmospheric middle-eastern group with an entrancing female vocalist
  • Two Steps from Hell – EPIC orchestral group with a variety of lovely vocals. Makes whatever you’re working on while listening that much more EPIC.
  • Bat for Lashes – Recently discovered this group! Very trippy, trance sounding stuff that’s great to zone out and work to.
  • Mass Effect Remixes – This action RPG had some really fantastic music. This particular group created some wonderful orchestral remixes and produced some catchy tunes that were also unused in the game, but are still fun to listen to. “Shepard of the Galaxy” is a particularly amazing track!

That’s been my DragonCon Rush listening list!  What are you listening to while you work? Feel free to share!  I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting background noise.

DragonCon 2012 To-Do List

This year is going to be my biggest year yet at DragonCon!  I’ll have a table in the artist alley, a large gallery bay, and a 3D display table in addition to all the rest!  This will also be my first year giving a panel on the basics of leather mask-making (Saturday at 7pm during the con).  I thought it would be a good exercise to share my tentative to-do list for this year’s con just to give everyone an idea of the hecticness.

–  Shoot and edit videos of segments for the mask-making demo.
–  Finish “War Prince” and “Lotus Dancer” paintings.
–  Craft 6 leather masks to add to the displays.
–  Create head displays for masks (touch up ones from last year that are damaged).
–  Double mat 10 art cards and embellish each mat with a themed drawing.
–  Order canvas prints of centerpieces.
–  Order bookmarks (order vinyl sleeves and tassles for bookmarks).
–  Make prints for the print shop and table (what a time to break in a new printer!)
–  Make sure I have enough bags and backing for all the prints.
–  Program barcodes for products at my table. Train with the new scanner between now and Dragoncon.
–  Compile portfolio for black and white interior artwork and full color character art for tabletop game companies.
–  Sign up for portfolio reviews. Still need to research which companies are represented at DragonCon and what kind of art they’re looking for.
–  Make some kind of freebie for any interested AD’s. A sketchbook? Bookmarks? Mini Calendar? Brochure? Not sure yet…

Have a sneak peek of my art gallery panel layout, for the curious:
I almost always lose my layout during setup so it’s nice to have a backup
here on the blog just in case I lose it.

To be honest, I’ve never pursued portfolio reviews at DragonCon before. It’s always been too intimidating and I never felt like I had enough of the right kinds of pieces.  Now, I feel I have a better idea  of what I am trying to be hired for and better work, to boot.  We’ll see, though!  I suspect I will be in for a cold splash of reality, but it’s one I hope that will help me to improve my presentation, overall! I’m also going to experiment with presenting my portfolio on an ipad. Yay for hand-me-down electronics!

So let the mad rush begin! May the coffee flow free and the chocolate be plentiful!

Top Posts of 2011

I’m stealing this idea from Hayley at Eventide because it seemed like a great way to wind down the year on this journal and to remember all that’s happened here in 2011!

I started this blog waay back in 2009, which feels like forever ago, and looking back helps me realize how this blog has grown into so many interesting pathways!

My top blog posts of this year (not including popular posts from previous years that are still some of my most highly viewed topics) aaaare:

1. Evolution of an Artist’s Alley Table Parts 1 and 2
I like to keep a record of how I display my artwork for my own purposes and so others might learn from my trial and error. These posts cover how my displays for art shows have leveled up over the years! I hope it saves ya’ll money and helps you to make your wares look their best!

2. DragonCon 2011 Con Report

The con report/review for my biggest event of the year!  I like to do a con report for every con I go to so that other artists might benefit from my working experience there.  DragonCon has always been my favorite event to go to each year and I learn something new no matter what!  There are also plenty of links to great costumes and silly videos we made in this post.
3. Ezio Mask Dev Diary (Parts 1, 2, and 3)
An in-depth walkthrough of how I created my Venetian Assassin Mask inspired by Assassin’s Creed 2.
Because everyone likes free stuff! This was my first ever book giveaway and hopefully not the last!

5. Commissions, Portfolio Reviews, and Study Sources

A comprehensive blog of study sources for traditional artists wishing to learn more digital work and those interested in game art.  Also announced my call for Portfolio Reviews in this blog (which I’m still taking on an ongoing basis!)
A glimpse at some of the many pieces I had going on for this year’s DragonCon.  Many of these pieces were sold before they were properly photographed, so this entry is the only record of them!
Another artisan craft tutorial on how to set a stone in a leather mask.
An in-depth review of my experiences with Artfire, another website much like Etsy that exists to serve the handmade market.
9. Sketch Diary: Angel of January (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4)
An in-depth walkthrough of my piece “Angel of January” detailing the creative process, working with photo references, and learning new digital tricks.
Probably the most difficult entry for me to write, as it took admitting some of my failures of being an artist this year.  It really helped me get my thoughts in order, however, and put me in a better position to start thinking of solutions!
Now, onward to 2012!  I hope that my entries continue to provide helpful info to other creative professionals!  I write this blog not just for myself, but you, the readers, so if you know of any topics you’d like to suggest for me to cover in the coming year, please feel free to suggest them here in comments!
Till next year!

DragonCon 2011 Con Report

Finally! I am sentient enough to write a blog post about DragonCon!  This year was my most work-intensive year yet, despite the fact I didn’t have to man a table.  It was so wonderful to meet old friends, fellow artists, and attend many cool panels!  It made returning home to a backlog of work after all the fun that much more difficult.

My panel on E-Marketing for Artists 101 that I gave during the con is now available online for your viewing pleasure.  It was my first time giving it so I was pleased to be applauded at the end. Next time, I’ll be sure to include even more info based on the crowd’s great suggestions!

I decided to be over-ambitious and do a mixed media display of new digital paintings, jewelry, and masks to reflect my new skillset from the past year.  I’m happy to report I sold half my masks and jewelry and even a couple of framed pieces!  This year was the best I’ve done with a Gallery panel at DragonCon, though Print Shop sales remained lackluster.

Now for a tour of my panel! (See more pics of my gallery this year here).

Things I Learned
(Because you always learn something new with every con. Even if you’ve been attending for years.)
  • Mailing labels are your friend! Instead of wasting business cards by using them as title labels, a simple design printed on a mailing label looks even more snazzy AND saves me money!
  • Plastic Sawtooth Hangers look way better than using binder clips on your images (and doesn’t risk creasing your art/bag). The downside: Once they’re stuck on, they’re on for good.
  • Gatorade. The cure for hangovers, nausea, and walking multiple blocks in 85 degree Georgia heat in a corset!
  • What sold this year – DRAGONS (Derp moment on my part as this never occurred to me. Especially for an event like DragonCon), masks, jewelry, and my darker angel pieces.  Seems my craft items are staying my money makers.
  • When giving an hour long panel, drink plenty of water (or Gatorade). I was hoarse for a week after because I rambled the whole time at my panel without sipping any liquids.

Personal Stuff
Being able to wander the con and attend panels was great this year! I learned how to make items out of hardened felt, which opens up a whole new world of crafting for me. I also attended a panel on peasant fashion in the 1650s, which was great cultural fodder for my novel writing research.
A butterfly lady sketch
from Stephanie
Pui-Mun Law.
I also got to yack with Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and, in what’s becoming my DragonCon tradition, purchased her latest Tarot book, The Tarot: Minor Arcana!  Stephanie did a lovely sketch on the inside cover before my eyes, even with my rambling distracting her. Thanks so much for the gift of inspiration, Stephanie! Can’t wait to really dig into this tome. A flip through has already revealed tons of crows, swords, sparkly bods, and awesomeness! It will be good inspiration and motivation for me to get going on my own Tarot project, once I finally sort my direction out.
After two years of saying ‘I might go’, I finally attended David Mack’s charity body painting event hosted at one of my favorite joints in town, The Shakespeare Tavern! There was much talent packed into one place and also organic strawberry beer to be had.  David also signed my present of a rare Scarab figure from a friend, which was the source of much happiness.
I was also free to wander around snapping pics of costumes this year. You can see my meager collection of costume photos here!  If you want to see videos of my friends and I being stupid at the Night at the Aquarium event, check out Derpy Eels and Rockout Fish videos.
I’m not so sure if I’ll be able to make it to DragonCon next year with other events like SDCC and Spectrum Live Art tempting me, but after the success of this year, I’m definitely going to try!  Till next time, guys!  I’m already plotting a costume.

DragonCon 2011 Workbench Part 2

The saga of ‘Angela why did you decide to have a book signing and a gallery show just before DragonCon and then start your gallery panel stuff too late?’ continues!  Spent the last 3 days painting like a madwoman!  You saw the naked leather masks, now see them with COLOR!

Behold my PRETTEHS! That’s a little pile of stuff to be turned into jewelry and
bookmarks at the end.

A Black Swan mask. Heavily inspired by the look of
the movie with Natalie Portman. Still need to add
crystals to the crown in this one!

Seraphim mask. If my brain wasn’t broke before,
it was after this mask. Possibly adding gold chains
to this?
Tarot: The Moon mask. Or also “Moon Bonnet”.
She’s going to have a ‘necklace’ of fresh water
pearls attached.
And finally, the DRAGON Mask!  Totally dig how this came

 They all still need varnishing, which will add an extra layer of candy-like awesome, but are otherwise done for the most part!  Stuff I still need to do:

– Finish displays for the bookmarks
– Finishing touches on the masks/jewelry that need dangly parts
– Mat and frame things. Embellish mats that are not LE
– Label everything properly for the art show
– Finish presentation for E-marketing panel in the art track
– Maybe do costume bits for a Lusiphur cosplay?
I can haz yer brainz? ;_;